What Is an Educated Person?
Every year during the fall, educators from Utah gather in a meeting room to discuss and consider the question “What is an educated person?” Those in the room are not really confused about what an educated person really is, but in defining and considering the topic, educators can make progress in learning how to educate others.
We usually think of education as a process that we go through and at the end we receive a certificate or degree. But education is much more than a piece of paper detailing competencies that we have learned. The philosophers tell us that education is the process of learning about life, and that without education and “truth” we are not really free.
According to Tony McGregor 1, an educated person has some of the following characteristics.
- An educated person has empathy and understanding of other people.
- An educated person is sensitive to the needs of others.
- An educated person has a clear understanding of their own values, wants, and preferences without imposing them on others.
- An educated person is independent and takes responsibility for their own actions.
- An educated person connects and interacts with the world around them.
- An educated person is comfortable with who they are, their own feelings and the feelings of others.
Career and Technical Education programs are designed well to fill the role of “educating” students.
Along with the educated person’s characteristics, an individual needs good technical and employability skills. Employability skills are often referred to as “soft” skills and include things like a positive attitude, understanding how to work hard, being able to communicate well with others, being able to work together with others in solving problems, basic computing skills and showing up on time. These skills along with good technical skills are what make a person prepared for a productive future.
There are great opportunities right now to further develop CTE programs and build pathways for high school students and adults that combine these various characteristics. Get involved with a pathway project in your area and help prepare educated workers to fill the openings that are going unfilled due to a lack of the needed skills.
Gary Wixom is the Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education at the Utah System of Higher Education.
This post was originally published on the UtahCTE.org blog. Find out more information about career and technical education on UtahCTE.org. Follow UtahCTE on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Read more from the CTE Directions Newsletter and sign up to receive a copy each month here.